Category Archives: New Music

Ratatat – The Skints Are At The Front Door!

After much umm-ing and aah-ing, whether it be over choices of songs to cover, songs to release, and generally how much to tease their loyal fans, the Skints have kept the attention of thousands, mainly due to their frankly fantastic debut album, ‘Live, Breathe, Build, Believe.’

But finally, and thankfully, they have given us something! Their new single Ratatat has been released, and it’s a cracker!  A great mix of rap, dub, ska and reggae, it sees a slightly different take on the last album, whilst keeping the aspects that make them so fantastic!

Not only this, but they’ve also released the album artwork AND title for the new album – ‘Part and Parcel’ is due to be released on April 9th and  I cannot wait! Designed by the same designer of their t-shirts and last album, it’s a great bold statement, and I’m sure it’ll look great as it rises up the charts on it’s release. Enjoy!

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QUICK, QUICK!

Ben Howard. We all know just how much of a good thing he is. He has it all. The style, the passion, the voice, the looks. He’s just fantastic. And after seeing him at the end of last year, he blew me away with his incredible talent, which transferred perfectly from the record onto the stage. This is why, on discovery of a pre-sale for a tour this November, I just HAD to buy myself a pair of tickets. It’s a long way, but boy am I glad that I know I’m going already! So, I thought I’d share it with everybody else, now I know for sure that my own tickets are booked! Visit www.benhowardmusic.co.uk for early access to Ben’s November tour in the UK, Ireland and the parts of Germany that haven’t sold out already! GO!

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Tell The Skints I’m Getting Impatient.

So, the Skints have finally closed their PledgeMusic account, after recieving far more donations than they ever could have hoped for. Which means their album MUST be on the way. I’ve been listening to their first album ‘Live, Breathe, Build, Believe’ for years now, and it has to be one of my favourite debut albums of all time. So my expectations built up by the variety of different acoustic covers released over the past few months on their facebook page have made the wait almost unbearable. Their covers have opened my eyes up to a whole variety of old reggae artists, whether it be Desmond Dekker, with their cover of ‘It Mek’ or Dennis Brown and his ‘Lips of Wine.’ The most recent release, which is set to be their most popular with almost 30,000 views already, is a cover of Katy B’s ‘On a Mission.’ I can’t say I’m a big fan of the original, but this ‘dub-ified’ version is sure to get reggae lover’s pulses racing. Check it out below. I’ll let you know when the new album’s out, it’s sure to be one of the highlights of 2012!!

Oh. Also, Marcia, musician extraordinaire from the Skints, is a bit of a blogger herself. Check out her Tumblr which features everything from Skints news to recipes and random information about her life, if you’re into stalking talented people.

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R.I.P Mouthwash!

It was a shame to hear about the split of long-standing British ska-punk group Mouthwash this month, just days after the release of the video for new single, ‘Nine To Five.’ The video, as seen below, was released on 20th June, whilst the split was announced on the 21st:

The band have been going since 1995 and have made a name for themselves as one of the most underrated British groups out there within the genre.

Despite being christened as an official ‘Erbert only last year, after seeing them support the King Blues with the Dirty Revolution in May, it was still sad news, as their music has made a big impact on me, especially their last album, ‘True Stories.”

Many bands have been paying homage to the group since the split, and it’s clear to see that this band have made a huge impact upon the scene, so they will be sorely missed. One such group are Sonic Boom Six, so Barney Boom decided to publish his first videoblog as a tribute to the band and their successes! R.I.P Mouthwash!

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Artist of the Week – Beardyman!

If you have read any of the other posts on this blog, you will tend to see that my musical tastes largely lie in rock, ska and punk, but now and again, somebody catches my eye. And nobody has done this recently more so than Beardyman – the one man beatbox jukebox who never ceases to entertain me!
UK Beatbox Champion of 2006 and 2007 makes Beardyman the first beatboxer in UK history to win 2 championships in a row. And what a talent he has! His live shows are a totally unique blend of comedy, beatboxing and looping, making it a gig like you’ve never seen before!
The general theme of his shows consists of taking song or genre requests and making something fantastic up on the spot, using only his voice, a keyboard and between 3 and 5 Korg Kaoss pads. These pads are what make Beardyman even more unique – he expertly uses looping technology to build up numerous layers that eventually result in an entire song.

Whilst you may think that surely an entire show of this might get a bit repetitive, Beardyman’s good sense of humour and crowd participation make for a show that will leave you smiling throughout.

Beardyman also released an album this year, titled ‘I Done A Album,’ which is great, with some fun tracks like ‘Vampire Skank,’ which is a cross between Gogol Bordello and dubstep! but it’s no match for his live performances judging by what I have seen online. It seems to me that part of his appeal is the mix of comedy and music, which is obviously hard to get across with an album.
So, enough of me, I’ll let you watch for yourself. Below is his entire show: ‘Unshaved – Live at the Udderbelly.’
It’s a whopping 48 minutes long, but it’s well worth watching – I watched the entire show without a minute of boredom!

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Light The Horizon Finally Available!

For all of you Bedouin Soundclash fans in the UK who have been wondering when on earth they are going to release Light The Horizon, in a format that doesn’t mean buying the imported CD for £40 on Amazon, you’ll be pleased to hear that you will be able to download the album from iTunes from 23rd May. If you pre-order now, the album is only £6.99.

From what I have heard already, with classic tracks like ‘Mountain Top’ and ‘Fool’s Tattoo,’ the album will be worth the very long wait. Enjoy!

http://itunes.apple.com/gb/preorder/light-the-horizon/id437348648?affId=1409847

The band also have an upcoming UK tour. Check out the link for more details: http://www.bedouinsoundclash.com/events

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Against Me! – Total Clarity

Against Me! have set the release date for their album of unreleased records and B-Sides for 24th May. The album will feature some demos and unreleased versions of older songs, with some previously unheard tracks, too:
1: Miami
2: The Shaker
3: Justin
4: Exhaustion & Disgust
5: Unprotected Sex With Multiple Partners
6: The Energizer
7: Violence
8: The Mover
9: How Low
10: Joy
11: Holy Sh*t
12: Lost And Searching In America
13: Problems
14: Money Changes Everything
15: Total Clarity

Until the date of the album’s premiere on Myspace, the band are offering tasters of some of the tracks on their Myspace page, with a new track uploaded daily. Here are the links for the first two:

And follow this link for the page that you can visit for a new song daily:
http://www.myspace.com/guide/fansfirst?sid=f&cid=4328886.1&fid=18625122

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England Keep My Bones Update…

As I am sure you will be aware, Frank Turner will be releasing the much anticipated follow-up to his last album Love Ire and Song, with ‘England Keep My Bones.’ From what I have heard already, the album is set to be yet another fantastic release, if not his best yet. He has already released a couple of songs from the album over Youtube, including the new single and video for ‘Peggy Sang The Blues,’ which you can see below:

He has also released a new favourite of mine, called ‘I Am Disappeared,’ a soul-baring and emotional track that sees Frank exposing himself yet again for the pleasure of his fans! This is bound to be a hit for the future, and has racked up over 50,000 views online already!

And if you’re keen to see what’s gone into the album, Frank has also recorded an album diary, documenting everything from a question and answer session for fans, to the origins of the album title. Check it out below:

All of this has really whet my appetite for seeing Frank at the end of May – This Spring’s solo tour is bound to be fantastic, and it looks as if Frank will have a whole lot more songs for us to enjoy whilst we’re there!

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Spotify Update

Now I’m sure all of you who have discovered the delights of Spotify have all been extremely impressed with the extensive service they offer(minus the occasional excessively repetitive advert), however I can guarantee that a few of you who don’t know already might be a bit miffed with their latest announcement:

As of May 1st, for all Spotify Free and Open users, you will only be able to listen to a track up to five times. Yes. FIVE TIMES – EVER. So if you have a favourite album that you don’t want to buy, but are quite happy to listen to over and over again, you had better start saving my friend! Obviously this will hit the heavy Spotify users the hardest, which is probably their main intention – to get more Free and Open users to sign up to their Premium and Unlimited services. These options will remain unaffected by the changes, and remember that they are both advert free, as well as having many other benefits!

Also, new Spotify users will not have these new changes implemented until six months after their joining date. Personally, I can see a lot of scams occurring, with people making themselves a new account every six months or so!

So whilst many of you may be sitting in your armchairs ranting and swearing about Spotify, and how this is the end of your legally free listening experience FOR EVER, you have to remember that they do offer an incredible service, and when thinking about it, it’s a miracle that something like this hasn’t happened already. Updating to either Unlimited (£4.99 a month) or Premium (£9.99 a month) brings huge benefits when you consider what the costs can get you. Premium, which gets you the whole shabang, is the equivalent of buying just one album a month, except you get millions of track at your fingertips instead – not quite as bad as it first sounded is it?! Visit http://www.spotify.com for more information.

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Artist of the Week – Buster Shuffle

Doing a cover of Madness’ ‘One Step Beyond’ at my school’s version of Stars In Their Eyes was enough to reaffirm my love of classic 80’s ska. Bands like the Specials and Madness influenced not only me, but countless of UK ska bands around today, such as Sonic Boom Six, The King Blues and The Skints.
So when I saw an advert that described Buster Shuffle’s ‘Our Night Out’ as like ‘Madness’ early days,’ my favourite Madness period, I knew I had to check them out! The album has been out since 2009, and since then they seem to have developed quite a fan base, and have been touring with the likes of The Holloways and The Wombats
The first thing to hit you is lead vocalist Jethro Baker’s punchy and original cockney accent. The band have even been described as ‘more English than the Queen,’ which embodies itself in the cheeky, carefree lyrics of songs like ‘Maneater’ and ‘You’re Alright’ His lyrics are simple, yet still funny, clever and infectiously catchy. Baker’s voice adds a touch of fun and a ‘cheeky chappy’ tone to every song. He is also the pianist of the group, and it is the piano which really helps the band stand out from some of today’s other ska and rock bands.
Baker took advantage of his piano skills with an impromptu busking session with him and his band mates, utilising the ‘Play Me, I’m Yours’ scheme set up in 2008 with the aim of bringing people together through music in cities across the globe. The band played mini-gigs at 10 different pianos in London, before being rudely cut short and moved on by the police??!! Personally, when the piano actually has ‘Play Me, I’m Yours’ written all over it, it seems like an opportunity not to be wasted?
Anyway, you can see the video from their street performances below:

The album itself is incredibly short, at only 28 minutes, yet every song is packed full of fun and energy, making every minute worthwhile! Whilst the album ventures little further than the title suggests lyrically – Our Night Out – it is not music designed to be listened to for its deep lyrical content, it was made to have fun to, however Baker’s lyrics are far from bad – they are really clever and witty, and I can guarantee you’ll walk away in a much better mood with a smile on your face – what more could you want?
Check out the unique cover of the Jerry Lee Lewis Classic here. It really shows off what the band are capable of, even on such a tiny stage! (You might want to skip to about 1:30!)

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